Axminster mum named Inspirational Woman of the Year

Debbie Humberstone with her Inspirational Woman of the Year award. Picture: SUBMITTED

Debbie Humberstone with her Inspirational Woman of the Year award. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Debbie Humberstone’s award recognises her work in helping young people tackle mental health issues

Axminster mum Debbie Humberstone -founder of the mental health charity The Project - has been named Inspirational Woman of the Year at the Venus Awards.

Dubbed the “Working Women’s Oscars”, around 200 guests attended the ceremony in Plymouth to celebrate the achievements of women in business from across Devon and Cornwall, over a range of categories.

Debbie, who set up The Project to provide support for local young people experiencing mental health issues, fought off tough and worthy opposition to win the distinguished award.

In accepting it she referred to the ever increasing rise in mental health issues in young people, and the part that everyone has to play in helping a new generation to meet and cope with the demands of the modern world.

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She said, “I am truly honoured to be recognised in this way for the work I have done to raise awareness and understanding around young people’s mental health, and to improve service provision for local young people who are struggling.

“It has not always been easy, as my motivation for doing what I do is my own daughter’s battle with mental illness. I would swap it all in a heartbeat if it meant that Jess didn’t have to struggle, but that is not within my gift.”

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Sally Allen, CEO of Elite Wizard Jeans and Fashion, the category sponsors, said: “Debbie Humberstone was an easy choice to win the Inspirational Woman Award because she is just that - inspirational.

“She has overcome enormous personal adversity, which is still on-going, and yet, she has still managed to create a nationally recognised and award-winning service.”

Debbie, who stepped down as The Project’s Manager in February, has now set up The Project Training and Consultancy, working nationally to expand and build on the work she started.

She offers mental health awareness training and workshops to young people in schools and other youth-focused organisations, as well as to parents, teachers and other professionals who work with and support young people.

The Project’s current support groups operate in Axminster, Chard and, from June, Ottery St Mary.

For all mental health training, and other enquiries, please contact Debbie on 07874 269233, or go to The Project Training and Consultancy website,

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